What to Do if You Witness an Accident
While the thousands of annual accidents that occur in Florida mean that numerous accidents happen every day leading to victims becoming injured at the fault of another driver, the truth of the accident circumstances can be difficult to figure out for the people involved, especially when they suffered injuries. For this reason, witnesses to an accident can be invaluable in offering clarity in the midst of the confusion and tension that follows in the immediate aftermath of an accident. However, the reality for anyone who witnesses an accident is that this kind of incident happening in front of you can be intimidating or even frightening and it can be challenging to figure out your next steps in lieu of this.
Fortunately, being prepared for anything you encounter on the road, including witnessing an accident, can help you react in the best way possible should you happen to find yourself in that situation. You should keep these things in mind:
- Your Legal Obligation. Importantly, you should understand that Florida law requires you to stop if you are involved in the accident in any sort of way, regardless of whether or not you are to blame. If you have any question about whether or not you were involved, you should never leave the scene. In addition to understanding where the law will hold you accountable, understand where it won’t. Florida offers protections for Good Samaritans which means a person who chooses to step up and offer emergency medical care generally does not have to worry about being sued in a civil context.
- Your Own Safety. While the desire to help others who may have obvious injuries may be your first thought, it is imperative that you ensure your own safety and that that of your vehicle is preserved before assisting anyone else. Make sure you have pulled over at a safe place and never stop in the middle of the road where you could inadvertently cause another accident. In addition, increase your visibility to other drivers by leaving your hazard lights on.
- Your Future Availability and Reliability. There is a good chance that at least one of the drivers or passengers involved in the accident will ask for your contact information. Even if they don’t, you should voluntarily provide your information to the parties involved as well as to authorities. Following the accident, cooperate with requests for information as much as possible as your testimony can help hold the responsible parties accountable.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in an Accident?
At some point, you may find yourself the victim of a car accident that you suspect resulted from someone else’s negligence. Instead of attempting to navigate the complexities of battling insurance adjusters on your own, you should depend on the help of the right legal team to investigate the circumstances of the accident and help you establish liability. As the experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys of the Pendas Law Firm, we offer the help you will need to hold the appropriate parties responsible and maximize your success with your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can begin exploring your legal options.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Myers and Daytona Beach areas.